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How Accurate is Farmer's Almanac?

How Accurate is Farmer's Almanac?



Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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Paul Nelson, KSL NewsradioThe forecast is not great, according to the 2008 Farmer's Almanac. It says winter will be mild and dry. But some weather watchers question how accurate the almanac is.

The pallets of sod keep getting loaded onto trucks at Phillip's Turf Farm. Manager Camille Conder says the 2008 forecast from The Farmers Almanac has her somewhat concerned, especially after the year they just had.

"Last year wasn't particularly that wet. Our snowpack wasn't as good as it should have been," she said.

The Almanac says Utah will see another drier-than-normal winter. This will have a big impact on the Phillip's farm.

"Our fields will be less saturated, so, in the spring when we're trying to establish the sod to get it ready to harvest we're going to have to use more water," Conder said.

This means less static water in the wells, which mean they'll use more energy to pump the water. Basically, operations will cost more all around. Some National Weather Service officials say they're also seeing a potential dry pattern, but only for one part of the state.

National Weather Service in Salt Lake City Meteorologist in Charge Larry Dunn said, "The current forecast from the climate prediction center of the National Weather Service is for a slightly higher than average chance of dry conditions in extreme southern Utah."

Dunn wonders what The Farmer's Almanac is basing its findings on. He says there really isn't anything to prove the state will have a good year or a dry year. If anything, Dunn says we might see a La Nina system.

"If it's a strong La Nina, [it] will move the storm track more across the northern part of the United States, and less across the south," he said.

However, Dunn says people shouldn't believe every word they read in The Farmer's Almanac.

"[The Farmer's Almanac] is not a scientifically-based publication, and verification of The Farmer's Almanac's forecasts show that you're just about as good flipping a coin," he said.

But, try telling that to farmers like Camille Conder. She says her father and grandfather followed the almanac very closely and it has been right many, many times.

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